Saturday, June 11, 2011


Developer - Hammerhead
Publisher - Activision
Release date – October 1999

Quake II is a first-person shooter video game released in December 1997. It was developed by id Software and published by Activision. It is not a direct sequel to Quake; id decided to revert to an existing trademark when they were unable to agree on a new name that did not violate another company's trademark.

The soundtrack for Quake II was mainly provided by Sonic Mayhem, with some additional tracks by Bill Brown; the main theme was also composed by Bill Brown and Rob Zombie, and one track was by Jer Sypult.


Quake II takes place in a science fiction environment. In the single-player game, the player assumes the role of a Marine named Bitterman taking part in "Operation Alien Overlord", a desperate attempt to prevent an alien invasion of Earth by launching a counterattack against the home planet of the hostile Strogg civilization. Most of the other soldiers are captured or killed as soon as they approach the planned landing zone. Bitterman survives only because another Marine's personal capsule collided with his upon launch, causing him to crash far short of the landing zone. It falls upon Bitterman to penetrate the Strogg capital city alone and assassinate the Strogg leader, the Makron.


The game is played in general first-person shooter paradigms, in which the player shoots enemies from the perspective of the main character. The gameplay is very similar to that featured in Quake, in terms of movement and controls, although the player's movement speed has been slowed down, and the player now has the ability to crouch. The game retains four of the eight weapons from Quake (the Shotgun, Super Shotgun, Grenade Launcher, and Rocket Launcher), although they have been redesigned visually and made to function in slightly different ways. The remainder of Quake's eight weapons (the Axe, Nailgun, Super Nailgun, and Thunderbolt) are not present in Quake II. The six newly introduced weapons are the Blaster, Machine Gun, Chain Gun, Hyperblaster, Railgun, and BFG10K. The Quad Damage power up from Quake is still present in Quake II, and new power-ups include the Ammo Pack, Invulnerability, Bandolier, Enviro-Suit, Rebreather, and Silencer.

The single player game features a number of changes from Quake. First, the player is given mission-based objectives that correspond to the storyline, including stealing a Tank Commander's head to open a door and calling down an air-strike on a bunker. CGI cutscenes are used to illustrate the player's progress through the main objectives, although they are all essentially the same short piece of video, showing a computerized image of the player character as he or she moves through game's levels. Another addition is the inclusion of a non-hostile character type: the player character's captured comrades. It is not possible to interact with these characters, however, as they have all been driven insane by their Strogg captors.

The game features much larger levels than Quake, with many more wide open areas. There is also a hub system that allows the player to travel back and forth between levels, which is necessary to complete certain objectives. Some of the textures and symbols that appear in the game are very similar to some of those found in Quake. Enemies also demonstrate visible wounds after they have taken damage.


The PlayStation version contains abridged versions of Units 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, and 10 of the PC version, redesigned to meet the console's technical limitations. For example, many short airlock-like corridors were added to maps to provide loading pauses inside what were contiguous areas in the PC version. In addition, part of the first mission of the N64 port is used as a prologue. Some enemy types were removed and two new enemies was added: the Arachnid, a human-spider cyborg with twin railgun arms, and the Guardian, a bipedal boss enemy. Saving the game is only possible between levels and at mid-level checkpoints where the game loads, while in the PC version the game could be saved and loaded at any time. The game supports the PlayStation Mouse peripheral to provide a greater parity with the PC version's gameplay. The music used in this port is a combination of the Quake II original music score and tracks from the PC version's mission packs, while the opening and closing cut-scenes are taken from the Ground Zero expansion pack.

The PlayStation version uses a new engine developed by Hammerhead for their future PlayStation projects and runs at a 520x240 resolution at 30 frames per second. The developer was keen to retain a visual parity with the PC version and avoid tricks such as the use of environmental fog. Colored lights for levels and enemies, and yellow highlights for gunfire and explosions, are carried across from the PC version, with the addition of lens flare effects located around the light sources on the original lightmaps. There is no skybox; instead, a flat Gouraud-textured purple sky is drawn around the top of the level. The game uses particles to render blood, debris, and rail gun beams analogously to the PC version.

There is also a split-screen multiplayer mode for two to four players (a four player game is possible using the PlayStation's Multi-tap). The only available player avatar is a modified version of the male player avatar from the PC version, the most noticeable difference being the addition of a helmet. Players can only customize the color of their avatar's armor and change their name. The twelve multiplayer levels featured are unique to the PlayStation version, with none of the PC multiplayer maps being carried over.

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